Security Council’s 15-member Central African Republic CAR sanctions committee agreed last month to Russia’s request to send the 60 additional instructors, provided they coordinate with CAR’s U.N. peacekeeping mission. Russia’s foreign ministry defended its actions in a statement against what it said was “a certain ‘jealousy’” by other foreign powers over Russia’s role in CAR.
“We believe this kind of position to be counter-productive, particularly in the current context, when constructive cooperation of all international ‘players’ and not competition or ‘zero-sum games’ is urgently called for,” it said.
When Central African Republic (CAR) pleaded for help last year to fight marauding militias, former colonial ruler France offered guns it had seized off Somalia. But Russia objected and donated its own weapons instead. “We presented our problem and Russia offered to help us, subject to Security Council approval,” said Albert Yaloke Mokpeme, CAR’s presidential spokesman. “If peace is restored tomorrow in CAR, I think everyone will be happy.”